Archive for February, 2014

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS is a “terrifically eclectic gathering of dark fiction”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 27, 2014 by Christian

Adam Groves has posted a review on the Fright Site of A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE, which features my short story, “Clawed Sod”:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, now available at Amazon.

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS, now available at Amazon.

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS FROM THE HORROR ZINE (The Horror Zine Books) was the fourth anthology culled from the JEANI RECTOR edited Horror Zine website. Each of these anthologies has been bigger and better than the last, which means this FEAST is the most substantial of them all (at least until the next one). As in the previous books, it’s a terrifically eclectic gathering of dark fiction that mixes big names with up-and-coming ones.

Included are reprintings of previously published tales, among them Joe R. Lansdale’s unforgettable “Incident On and Off A Mountain Road,” about a survival trained woman using her skills to take on a homicidal freak, and Jeani Rector’s own “The Golem,” which powerfully fleshes out of the legendary folk tale.

Further standouts include “Germ Warfare” by Eric J. Guignard, about an ultra-paranoid man’s desperate attempt to rid himself of toxins; “Mouthpiece” by Mike Goddard, concerning a man who develops a second mouth; and “Husks and Formless Ruins” by Tom Piccirilli, which explores lust, disillusionment and the dark extremes of religious mania.

I also appreciated the nonfiction section, which includes a piece by true crime impresario John Gilmore about his lifelong obsession with the Black Dahlia murder. We also get Joe Lansdale telling how it is he became a writer, TV legend Earl Hamner reminiscing about writing for the original TWILIGHT ZONE, and Graham Masterton’s extremely poignant remembrance of his recently deceased wife.

Click here to read the review, and click here to buy the book. If you haven’t bought (and read) it, here’s what awaits:

A FEAST OF FRIGHTS (The Horror Zine Books) is a product of THE HORROR ZINE, a monthly e-zine that publishes new issues the first of every month.

LOSING TOUCH is “weird and wonderful”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 26, 2014 by Christian

In his 2013 year-in-review published earlier this month at The Fright Site, Adam Groves listed LOSING TOUCH as one of the highlights of the previous year:

Kindle and paperback now available at Amazon.

Kindle and paperback now available at Amazon.

Now for a fun one: LOSING TOUCH by CHRISTIAN A. LARSEN (Post Mortem Press). It’s about Morgan, a man who finds himself “gifted” with a superpower of sorts: he can move his flesh through solid objects. The resulting series of misadventures are presented in suitably gritty fashion, showing the effects of this unique ability on (for instance) Morgan’s bowel movements. 

Ultimately, however, Morgan’s abilities serve to shine an unflattering light on the bleakness and inadequacy of his life, which is presented in a startlingly realistic fashion that belays–or perhaps enhances–the outré premise. The result is a weird and wonderful account with definite real-world resonance.

Other books on Groves’ “really good stuff” list includes THE RAPIST by Les Edgerton, NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, and THE STRANGE TALE OF PANORAMA ISLAND by Suehiro Maruo. Click here for the full write up.

And hey, if you’ve read LOSING TOUCH and haven’t written a review somewhere where other people can read it … then I guess that begs the question: “why not?”

2013 Bram Stoker Award® final ballot

Posted in News on February 23, 2014 by Christian

The Horror Writers Association has announced the final ballot for the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards®. The winner from each category will be announced at the award banquet on May 10 at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Superior Achievement in a Novel

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel

Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

  • Primal Tongue” by Michael Bailey (ZIPPERED FLESH 2, Smart Rhino Publications)
  • Snapshot” by Patrick Freivald (BLOOD & ROSES, Scarlett River Press)
  • Night Train to Paris” by David Gerrold (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, Jan./Feb. 2013)
  • The Hunger Artist” by Lisa Mannetti (ZIPPERED FLESH 2, Smart Rhino Publications)
  • The Geminis” by John Palisano (CHIRAL MAD 2, Written Backwards)
  • Code 666” by Michael Reaves (THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, March/April 2013)

Superior Achievement in a Screenplay

  • The Horde” by Fabien Adda and Fabrice Gobert (THE RETURNED, Ramaco Media I, Castelao Pictures)
  • Spilt Milk” by Brad Falchuk (AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, Ryan Murphy Productions)
  • Apéritif” by Bryan Fuller (HANNIBAL, Dino De Laurentiis Company, Living Dead Guy Productions, AXN: Original X Production, Gaumont International Television)
  • A Whiff of Sulfur” by Daniel Knauf (DRACULA, Flame Ventures, Playground, Universal Television, Carnival Films)
  • Welcome to the Tombs” by Glen Mazzara (THE WALKING DEAD, AMC TV)

Superior Achievement in an Anthology

Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection

Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

I’ve done my best to provide a link for each entrant if you are interested in reading or watching any of the nominated works. If you see something that needs correcting, please do let me know. Good luck to everyone who made the final ballot!

Barnes & Noble author panel begins at 11:30 CST

Posted in News on February 22, 2014 by Christian
LOSING TOUCH, now available at Barnes & Noble.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Barnes & Noble.

I will be answering questions about LOSING TOUCH today as part of the author panel at Barnes & Noble in Racine. The store’s annual Winter Writer’s Day will begin with children’s picture book story time from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the panel will consist of a dozen authors, including my fellow ZIPPERED FLESH 2 contributors David Benton and W.D. Gagliani (“Piper at the Gates of Dawn”), and I really don’t know what I’m going to say, because I have no idea what I’m going to be asked.

We will all be taking turns fielding questions from the moderator about our various works, which include local history, memoirs, autobiographies, culture, and adult literature:

From 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., Racine’s poet laureate, Nick Ramsey, will conduct a workshop on careers in creativity, and from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., authors will be talking to readers and signing copies of their books during the open house.

Don’t miss the Winter Writer’s Day, today at Barnes & Noble in Racine, 2710 South Green Bay Road in the Southland Shopping Center.

“Crybaby Bridge” to feature in LOST IN THE WITCHING HOUR

Posted in News on February 21, 2014 by Christian
Breaking Fate's first anthology, DEADHEAD MILES.

Breaking Fate’s first anthology, DEADHEAD MILES.

Breaking Fate Publishing has accepted by story, “Crybaby Bridge” for publication in its upcoming anthology, LOST IN THE WITCHING HOUR. “Crybaby Bridge” had previously been published in the anthology, TALES FROM THE RIVER, which is now out of print.

Expected this summer, LOST IN THE WITCHING HOUR will be Breaking Fate’s third anthology after DEADHEAD MILES (pictured right) and the soon to be released THE DEAD WALK.

I wrote “Crybaby Bridge” as an exemplar for my American literature students while I was teaching a unit on romanticism, including the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The assignment I gave my classes was to write a story that included three of the five thematic categories of romanticism:

  1. Individualism
  2. Intuition vs. Reality
  3. Love of Nature/Exotic Settings
  4. Nationalism & the Past
  5. Supernatural Elements

I had them print and highlight their own stories for examples of these themes, in what was probably the most fun assignment I ever gave them–at least from my perspective. If any former students are reading this, I hope they remember the assignment fondly, but probably all they remember was fighting over the highlighters in the writing lab.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2 is “a great collection of some truly great writers”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 20, 2014 by Christian

Barnes & Noble reader Art Powell has written a five-star review of ZIPPERED FLESH 2, which features my short story, “The Little Things”:

A great collection of some truly great writers. From start to finish, this book was a joy to read, despite the wincing, the stomach churning and the pure horror in some of them. There are some twisted stories here, some realistic ones and some down right strange ones. I would list my favorites, but that would just be the table of contents. There isn’t a single miss here. Highly recommended!

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now on sale at Barnes & Noble.

ZIPPERED FLESH 2, now on sale at Barnes & Noble.

Edited by Weldon BurgeZIPPERED FLESH 2 features the following contributions:

And don’t forget that this Saturday, no less than three ZIPPERED FLESH 2 contributors will be participating in the Winter Writer’s Day at Barnes & Noble in Racine. W.D. Gagliani, David Benton, and I will answer questions as part of the author panel between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and we’ll be talking to readers and signing our books during the open house from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

Buy LOSING TOUCH at Barnes & Noble in Racine this Saturday

Posted in News on February 18, 2014 by Christian
LOSING TOUCH, now available at Barnes & Noble.

LOSING TOUCH, now available at Barnes & Noble.

Pick up a signed copy of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by Piers Anthony, at the Winter Writer’s Day this Saturday hosted by Barnes & Noble in Racine.

The event will open with picture book author story time for the kids from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m., followed by craft time until noon.

I’ll be fielding questions as part of the adult author panel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then Racine poet laureate Nick Ramsey will conduct a workshop on careers in creativity from 1:00 to 2:00.

Finally, mingle with the participating authors until 3:00 p.m. during Barnes & Noble’s open house.

Participating authors include:

That’s local history, memoirs, culture, children’s stories, adult literature, and yes … even horror. You’ll get a little of everything at the Winter Writer’s Day, this Saturday at Barnes & Noble in Racine.

Clark’s SHADOW MASTERS tale to be included in Datlow antho

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 17, 2014 by Christian
"The Tin House" by Simon Clark, to feature.

“The Tin House” by Simon Clark, to feature in TBHOTY, VOL. IV.

THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR, VOLUME SIX, edited by Ellen Datlow, will feature Simon Clark’s “The Tin House” from SHADOW MASTERS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE HORROR ZINE, which also features my short story, “The People Eaters”.

Datlow’s anthology series collects some of the year’s best horror fiction, including works by Laird Barron, Stephen Graham Jones, Michael Marshall Smith, Joe R. Lansdale, and Nicholas Royle. The books also feature reportage of notable achievements in horror literature, including awards, notable novels, anthologies, collections, periodicals, poetry, and non-fiction from the previous year.

SHADOW MASTERS, edited by Jeani Rector, continues The Horror Zine’s series of annual horror anthologies, and features both established and emerging writers, like:

Click here to buy SHADOW MASTERS, or to leave a reader review.

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 is “an enjoyable showcase of horror”

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 16, 2014 by Christian

Sunni K. Brock has written a positive review of THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, featuring my contribution, “It Has Teeth”, calling it a “humorously gross story”, and that “no one will want to see anything moldy after this crazy tale”.

Now available via Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

Now available via Amazon in paperback and Kindle.

THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013 rounds up twenty-eight tales from contributing members, eight of which are reprints, but representative of the fine skills that the society has to draw upon. Founder Scott M. Goriscak explains the genesis of the organization in his Foreword as an effort to bring together artists of all walks to facilitate collaboration in the horror field. Editor Carson Buckingham sums up what horrifies her in the introduction: “After you have passed from dread to terror, horror is wreckage left for you to deal with emotionally and psychologically, and sometimes physically…”

Read the review here, and if you haven’t already read THE BEST OF THE HORROR SOCIETY 2013, here’s the complete table of contents:

Christian A. Larsen is the author of LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, now available in paperback and ebook formats from Post Mortem Press.

Morgan Dunsmore of LOSING TOUCH; the next Walter White?

Posted in Book Reviews, News on February 16, 2014 by Christian

Mark Matthews, author of ON THE LIPS OF CHILDREN, has written a four star review of LOSING TOUCH for The Bookie Monster, comparing Morgan Dunsmore to Walter White of BREAKING BAD:

Kindle and paperback now available at Amazon.

Kindle and paperback now available at Amazon.

LOSING TOUCH is the story of [Morgan Dunsmore,] an everyday kind of married male trying to make ends meet. His biggest struggles are to be a father, stay faithful, provide for his family, and as the story begins, come to grips with the power to move through other objects.

But this new power isn’t in a superhero universe, it’s in the real one, and thus, for example, he can pass through walls but only when naked (for how could clothes get through the wall, right?)

If you ever been bothered by the fact that the Hulk only loses his shirt and not his pants when he turns green from rage and expands, this novel is for you.

While the husband has the power to phase through things, in a way, he has been castrated to a degree and is losing his power. There is wonderful metaphor going on here. At least that’s how I took it. The husband was no longer tangible and seems to be feeling a bit impotent despite everything. Eventually, he can’t please his wife anymore (his appendages pass through other objects) and he can’t provide for his family (things pop through things during interviews. It’s all very hard to explain). He finally does try to use his new power to provide for his family and make things right, but this is complicated. Sneak naked into a bank, then what? You can’t sneak the money back through. All sorts of scenarios play out, and you start to feel trapped in the main characters plight and isolation.

The isolation of the protagonist was displayed wonderfully. He doesn’t tell anybody about what is happening to him and is constantly afraid his wife will found out. He’s a shame-based creature who is only as sick as his secret. There are some interesting marital moments that anybody who has done the ‘split off to different rooms’ thing each night, not out of spite, but just general emotional distance, will relate to. I couldn’t help but seeing him as a Walter White Character to a degree, Walt was maybe more powerful, but both of them trying to flex some male muscle in their suburbia lives, neither able to ever fully conquer.

It is through many micro-moments that the book holds itself together. It is not a book that travels fastly or grand, but instead travels inward. Self-thoughts and inner discussions of the character with his doppelganger dominate. The writer shines in some of these moments…

Read the rest of Matthews’s review here. LOSING TOUCH, featuring a foreword by NY Times bestselling author Piers Anthony, is now available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook formats.